For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Jonathon Berman, (202) 495-3033,

Obama Administration Announces Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Sites

Task Force’s Creation is in Response to SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon Facility Leak

WASHINGTON - Today, in response to the Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon facility that leaked for over three months and dumped nearly 100,000 metric tons of methane into the Porter Ranch, California community, the Obama administration announced the creation of an interagency task force on natural gas storage facilities to prevent similar disasters from occurring in the future. The task force will be spearheaded by the Department of Energy and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and will include technical experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In August of 2015, the EPA proposed the first ever standards for methane, safeguarding new and modified oil and gas infrastructure, and recently, President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a climate pact that, among other items, committed both countries to reduce methane emissions from new, modified, and existing sources. However, neither the EPA rule nor the recent climate pact cover natural gas storage facilities like that in Porter Ranch.

In response, Sierra Club’s Washington Representative Jessica Eckdish released the following statement:


Get our best delivered to your inbox.

“We welcome the Obama administration’s effort to prevent disasters like the Porter Ranch leak from happening again. This task force is well-equipped to uncover the answers needed to protect communities and our climate from the dangers of deadly methane pollution, and I am encouraged by the stakeholder engagement process outlined today.

“While I hope that this task force will act swiftly to improve the safety of natural gas storage in the near term, the Aliso Canyon leak and ongoing methane leaks around the country underscore the fact that fossil fuels can never be made safe. Ultimately, we must transition to clean, renewable energy sources and leave dirty fuels in the ground.”


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

Share This Article